Project: ecoart farm
Posted by Stamatina Palmou almost 13 years ago
We finished the third natural building workshop at the ecoart farm, the site that is being developed to home PRI Hellas. This workshop was taught by Alex Christakis, Teo Papaconstantinou and myself, Stamatina Palmou aiming to encourage our students to become self sufficient and empower them to meet and manage their housing needs without depending on building experts and manufactured, expensive and often unhealthy materials.
Over the five the days of the workshop we practiced various techniques, such as, building with cob, insulated wattle and daub, oven making, corbelled arches, earthen finishes and woodworking. Other building techniques were discussed and we examined all aspects of building from foundations, to wall systems, roofs, water harvesting and waste water systems, passive solar design and of course permaculture ethics and principles
Our structure was designed to serve multiple functions : tool and fuel wood storage, leisure, food making, aquifer recharging and also serve as a greenhouse. It includes a six sq. m. room with built in furniture and mezzanine, a seven m. long bench, a cob oven and a roof with long eaves that can be extended with plastic sheeting to create a protected area to start seedlings early in the winter. It has bigger openings in the south and west sides for light gain and smaller openings in the north and east sides to help passive cooling and a nice view of the sunrise.
The people that joined us –ranging from architects, engineers, builders to people that want to be practically involved into the making of their future home- were primarily interested into seeing for themselves if building with one’s own hands is actually working. What can be described as suspense and embarrassment towards such an activity, quickly transformed into confidence and creative liberation. Building, cooking, singing, joking, inspiring and taking care of each other is what took the experience to the level of community building. A community that shares knowledge, ideas, food and support. The ending day found us all feeling more confident, safe and with many new friends, friends for life.
The Hellenic society is currently experiencing its most challenging period since WW II as a result of faulty policies and corrupt management applied over the last three decades on education. health, agriculture and finances. Our people can now only rely on each other to create a viable future. It seems that the social fabric is being reconstituted through gatherings like this one and I sure am happy to witness and be part of this silent revolution.
Photo copyright Giorgos Doganis
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